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Whose interests? Why defining the ‘public interest’ is such a challenge

The “public interest” is a political concept that’s regularly trotted out along with other democratic principles such as transparency and accountability.

And, like transparency and accountability, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what it means.

Former NSW Ombudsman Chris Wheeler has pointed out:

Ese 2b”… while it is one of the most used terms in the lexicon of public administration, it is arguably the least defined and least understood … identifying or determining the appropriate public interest in any particular case is often no easy task.”

Centuries of scholarship examine the public interest alongside the…

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